Magic and loss

Sometimes, the old technology doesn’t play ball… a sad moment. But at least Peter tried.

Spare a thought for jazz enthusiast and all round good-egg Peter Barker. Having found and converted the soothing, stunning, seventies sounds of jazz at The Crown in Brownhills, he discovered another recording, and attempted to convert it too. Sadly, the ancient Ferrograph reel to reel gave up the ghost, and ate it’s precious magnetic tape, destroying it in the process. Understandably, Peter was gutted.

Peter wrote to me:

Hi Bob

Well that’s that, then.

Not only is the reel to reel tape lost; the one copy I made was rubbish quality so I deleted it before spotting that the deck had decided to do a passible imitation of your gear system and gone into simultaneous forward and reverse.

The drive wheel rotating on the stationary tape had turned into a gunk of molten neoprene, so sadly, the Ferrograph is now a sizeable and weighty doorstop.

Pity, because the session was a gem, with the wonderful vibraphone work of Norman Pritchard. Paul would have loved it because there was quite a bit of chat with his father running through what was on on each night of the week.

Oh well. Such is life and the wonders of not-so-modern technology.

Onwards and upwards!


I’d like to publicly thank Peter, as he found a rare gem that’s led to some excellent contributions from readers, and a somewhat unexpected outpouring of emotion. It’s funny how such an unusual artefact can cause such a hubbub. We may have lost the second recording, but you tried, and that’s all that counts. Thank you, it was a real eye opener, and I, for one, now understand part of the local history that I never knew existed. This is why I enjoy curating this blog.

Peter included a press clipping with his mail: it’s fascinating. The subjects are clearly the group pictured in my last post on the subject. Hopefully, this will prod a few memories, too. I notice the date of this piece is 1973. In the broadcast presented last week, the compere or DJ refers to the Crown as a Staffordshire Pub, which leads me to believe the recording was pre-1974 and the boundary change rather than 1977, when it would have been in the West Midlands.

The readers of this blog never cease to amaze me. Thanks, everyone.

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4 Responses to Magic and loss

  1. Ian says:

    Pete, thanks ever so much for trying, I would dearly loved to have heard my Grandad’s voice again – I was only 8 when we lost him, but still love and remember him very much.
    Thanks again.

  2. David Evans says:

    HI Pete

    can local radio studios and or BBC radiophonics people help recover? Worth a try….

  3. Pingback: All jazz hands on tape deck! « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  4. Pingback: Crowning glory | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

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